NOBEL Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has described June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, a day which, he said “embodies unity of purpose, equity and justice, the manifestation of the sovereign will of a people.”
Soyinka, in a press statement entitled: “A message on June 12, Nigeria’s Democracy Day,” said “what June 12 possesses is exactly what May 29, or any other day, lacks.”
According to him, “we need to remind ourselves what June 12, 1993 represents. It is neither mere date, nor sentiment. It is simply – human spirit.”
He lamented that the power of the very spirit of June 12 brought out of relegation or obscurity, even from the jaws of death, some individuals who had attempted to deny or crush the date, adding that it was the same spirit that bestowed upon them relevance and prominence.
Comparing June 12 and May 29, the country’s official Democracy Day, as declared by the Federal Government, Soyinka said “the former was a spirit of unified purpose, the latter simply an egotistical appropriation of the gift of the former.”
The Nobel Laureate said June 12 “remains forever a watershed of Nigerian history, no matter what the future holds.
“We remain unshaken! Let others continue their sham ceremonies – after all, this is a democracy - or so we claim!”
He charged that this present “democracy mandates those who are dedicated to truth, who are tutored in the lessons of history, who understand that the human spirit is enduring, to hold fast onto the truthful anniversary (of June 12) and recognise none other.”
Soyinka said they should ensure that “this date is emblazoned across the sky, and takes root in the very earth that has soaked up the blood of our martyrs.”
He equally urged Nigerians to try a simple experiment of narrating the story of May 29 to a child and watch his or her reaction.
He said “on that day – that child would concede – an individual was installed as a compromise president following a compromise election.
“Watch the difference in that child’s responses. Yet, even the beneficiaries of that day persist in their futile effort to kill the date and supplant it with another. Why should we be surprised?”
Source: Nigerian Tribune